Last week Gemini passed a major milestone with the beginning of on-sky engineering testing of the Gemini South 50-watt laser. This event marks the start of commissioning for the Gemini Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics System (GeMS). The plans through the first half of 2011 are intense, with commissioning runs scheduled to occur in one-week blocks from February to May of 2011A, as shown on the Gemini South telescope schedule.
Science Operations Announcements
The Gemini 2011A observing programs have now been announced. Successful PIs will have received email notification. Please check the schedules page for more information.
Phoenix has been a visitor instrument on Gemini South since the beginning of science operations in 2002. It has been scientifically productive, with an active user community, and the observatory is grateful to NOAO for the long-term loan. However, Gemini is about to commission new Gemini South instrumentation and is actively engaged in a transition to operations without the UK as a partner. Together, these fundamentally limit both available staff effort and instrument ports, and Gemini can no longer afford to offer Phoenix for regular use.
The accepted GNIRS System Verification Proposals have now been announced. Successful PIs have been contacted.